1280x680_Oper_Konzertant_1516 © beyond/Mara Burmester

Dramma per musica in three acts (1733)
Music by Georg Friedrich Händel
Libretto: Anonymus after Carlo Sigismondo Capeces Libretto based on Domenico Scarlattis "Orlando, Overo la Gelosa Pazzia" (1711) based on Ludovico Ariostos epic "Orlando Furioso" (1532)

Performed in Italian

Wednesday, 24 February 2016, 7 pm

Content

In his opera Orlando, written for the King’s Theatre on London’s Haymarket, George Frideric Handel turned to the story of the love-crazed knight from Ludovico Ariosto’s epic poem Orlando furioso (1532). The knight Orlando, a man with experience of armed combat, is driven to madness when Angelica, the woman he loves, chooses the warrior Medoro instead. By conjuring up various illusions, the magician Zoroastro succeeds in freeing Orlando from his love delirium and setting him back on the path to reason. For this unusual libretto, Handel pulled out all the stops; not for nothing is Orlando regarded as one of his most imaginative scores. The Handel specialist Reinhard Strohm judged the title role, written for the star castrato Francesco Bernardi alias Senesino, to be “the only one that touches every emotion, tonal areas and singing style; he has to sing heroic, virtuoso, despairing and even meditative arias.” Of course, there is also a big madness scene, which harks back to the English tradition of “mad songs”. This role, though, marked the end of Senesino’s collaboration with Handel: the proud singer had fallen out with the irascible composer so badly that only weeks after the end of the run of performances he defected to the rival company, the so-called Opera of the Nobility

Cast

Conductor

Harry Bicket

Biography
Orlando

Iestyn Davies

Biography
Angelica

Erin Morley

Biography
Medoro

Sasha Cooke

Biography
Dorinda

Carolyn Sampson

Biography
Zoroastro

Kyle Ketelsen

Biography
Orchestra

The English Concert

Biography